Building Your Newborn Photography Business
Building a successful newborn photography business, for me, has always been about aiming to exceed my clients’ expectations.
I believe that what our clients want is simply to document their baby as early in life as possible. They want a visual record, so that they don’t forget this incredible time in their lives. They want beautiful images that they can’t create themselves.
Providing this for them, whilst establishing trust, along with clear and open communication, and inviting them into a client-focused experience, is important to me. This is the experience I want my clients to have during this period in their lives. And it’s also the experience I want them to tell their friends and family about.
CREATING TIMELESS IMAGES
There have been so many trends come and go – as is the case with every genre of photography. And now we need to focus more on creating timeless images that will hang on our clients’ walls for generations, without dating.
This is more important and productive than worrying about what every other photographer is doing.
Hopefully you realise by now, that you don’t need numerous variations of every prop and outfit you see another photographer use, in order to create beautiful, timeless images. It’s true that I myself have a large range of items, which I’ve collected over many, many years. But I also have my firm favourites which I use frequently, creating different looks by mixing and matching accessories, camera angle and composition.
The focus should always be on creating a beautiful set of memories for the family, while keeping baby safe and comfortable. If you can give them a wonderful, calm experience at the same time, you’re onto the winning formula.
I’ve shared some tips on Choosing Bowls and Buckets here.
LISTEN TO YOUR CLIENTS
Listening to our clients’ wants and needs is the key to exceeding their expectations.
With every session, I believe it’s important to not only create beautiful images that my clients can’t create themselves, but to provide an exceptional experience.
My clients always come first. I listen to their needs and their stories. Their session is not about me as a photographer, but about providing the service and product that they are paying me for.
Instead of trying to get ‘the’ next great shot we need to focus on the comfort and safety of the baby. Creating the perfect environment for their session is essential. When the baby is comfortable and safe, the flow of your sessions will become easier.
Having a happy client is the best possible way to advertise our newborn photography businesses.
Happy clients will tell their friends and family about the incredible experience you created for them. And, pregnant women know pregnant women, so word of mouth referral from a happy client will be your best form of advertising.
LEARNING FROM OUR CLIENTS
We can learn so much just by listening to our clients and our enquiries – especially when something doesn’t play out as we’d expected. Often it’s a gap in communication, and can be a valuable lesson in ways we can strengthen our processes, and in turn, the customer experience.
For example, have you ever had a client who expected more than was included in their package? Confusion about the ordering process? Did your clients want to see their proof gallery or receive their product sooner than promised?
It’s easy to react defensively to these situations. However, it’s more productive when you use them to analyse weaknesses in your business or communications processes.
The question is not only “Have you provided the relevant information?” BUT “Did you provide it at the best time and via the best method?”.
Look at your client information. How and when do you deliver it? Think of your clients and their busy and changing lifestyles around the period that they are making their appointments with you. Tailor your information delivery to suit.
A lovely multi-page brochure may have great impact for initial enquiries, but a lot of that information will be forgotten closer to the appointment. So, create additional follow up documents (brochures, emails, etc) containing smaller chunks of information to send as reminders at relevant times.
Make sure your key details are clear, concise and timely. Use bullet points or short sentences in reminders so that the essential information stands out.
You could use my What to Expect – During Your Session templates, which are fully customisable, to create your own “After Your Session” reminders. Hand this to your clients as they depart their session, or include it in a thank you email within 24 hours.
SUSTAINABLE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESSES
Remember, a key element to building any sustainable newborn photography business is nurturing your client relationships.
Listen. Learn. And aim to exceed their expectations.
Strong, relevant communication is vital. Take the time to review your literature and processes. Assess any potential weaknesses and work to strengthen them.
For decades, photography businesses have thrived on return clients. And the key to this is delivering an amazing experience, from start to end, which exceeds their expectations.
Looking for a Business Podcast? StartUp by Gimlet Media is a favourite in our office. It’s a documentary series about entrepreneurial life, and we recommend beginning back at Season One.